Welcome to a festive edition of Workplace Law, in the articles that follow we look at GDPR and the risks of allowing employees to access work emails from personal devices, Collaborative Employment Law and our Christmas wish.
In a November Workplace Law article we highlighted the continued uncertainty of the position of the three-to-four million EU nationals residing in the UK, and the employers that employ them, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Employment Tribunal national user group has published the minutes of its most recent summit, we feel they highlight the necessity for businesses to look for new and innovative means to approaching disputes in the workplace
Is it a coincidence that X-mas and GDPR both have four letters in them? We think not ; and so here is a festive update on GDPR. This is our present from us to you, you’re welcome
Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law, in these articles we look at the employment tribunal fees, EU workers rights on a no-deal Brexit and the research conducted by ACAS on sexual harassment.
In 2016, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that 52% of all women polled in their ‘Still just a bit of banter?’ report had experienced some form of sexual harassment.
The deadline of the 29 March 2019 for Brexit creeps ever closer and on a daily basis, we can all speculate whether we are heading for a “no-deal” Brexit.
It has been a little over a year since the employment tribunal fees were abolished following the Supreme Court judgment, which heavily criticised the fees and decided that they were unlawful.
Dealing with staff issues when selling your business can be one of the most challenging aspects of a corporate transaction. Managing employees before the sale and preparing them for life after can take up a large amount of a seller’s time.
Don’t be tricked by recent updates on employment law, let us treat you with updates on the scary Data Protection fines, parental bereavement and frightening vicarious liability. Happy Halloween!
A belated welcome to William Chrusciel who has started as a Trainee Solicitor with Thomson Snell & Passmore in September. This is his first seat but already William has assisted with a number of the workplace law articles and is working closely with the employment team.
There has been a recent string of vicarious liability cases seemingly increasing the remit for which an employer will be found to be vicariously liable for the actions of its employees. The case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Limited is another one of these cases.
The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Bill has recently received Royal Assent, and is expected to come into force in April 2020.
In April 2017, Gender Pay Gap Reporting (inconveniently dubbed GPGR, and not to be confused with GDPR) required all business entities with 250 or more employees to publish an annual gender pay gap report.
In this edition of Workplace Law we look at the new guidance on employment references, the call for a four day week and some tribunal statistics.
We’re not one for causing controversy but we couldn’t let this one just pass us by!
It’s that time again; the Government has published the latest batch of tribunal statistics detailing claims from April to June 2018.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have produced new guidance on providing references in an effort to assist employers when providing references for departing personnel.
In recent years there have been numerous high profile cases about what items of remuneration should be included in holiday pay calculations.
In this edition of Workplace Law we look at holiday pay calculations and the recent gender pay gap reporting.
As a firm, we take pride in being a constant in a changing world. We hope this collection of articles will be helpful and provide food for thought on a number of topics.
We are really heating up this edition of Workplace Law as we take a look at the recent heatwave and the government’s recent list of employers failing to pay the National Minimum/Living Wage.
The saying goes “another day, another dollar”.
Summer has officially arrived and with it comes a heatwave. With some parts of the country reaching a scorching 30 degrees there are a number of heatwave warnings in place.
The Court of Appeal has today ruled that care providers do not have to pay workers the minimum wage throughout ‘sleep-in shifts’.
Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law. In this edition, we consider how you can survive the World Cup and the recent Supreme Court case involving Pimlico Plumbers.
By way of a very brief re-cap to this long running worker status case, Mr Gary Smith commenced work for Pimlico Plumbers in August 2005 and worked solely for them until he was released from service on 3 May 2011. During this time Pimlico Plumbers gave him a contract that labelled him as an independent contractor.
Football fever has once again gripped the world with the advent of the World Cup – Russia 2018
We wanted to say a big thank you and goodbye to Susanna Rynehart.
Shared parental leave has had a very low uptake on a national scale.
Whenever you are faced with an actual or potential employment tribunal claim, the first thing to look at is whether the claimant will/has lodged their claim within the limitation period for the specific claim(s).
Internships are an increasingly common route into work, particularly for young graduates. In April, the Institute for Public Policy Research published research suggesting that the number of internships has doubled since 2010. Of these internships, they estimate that one in five is unpaid.
Leading South East law firm, Thomson Snell & Passmore, have assisted the Motorline Group in taking over the full operation of the Hyundai digital stores in Bluewater and Westfield Stratford from Rockar. Motorline have also taken over the Hyundai Aftersales Centre in Dartford.
The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 was laid before Parliament on the 8 February 2018.
It’s the end of February and across the country we are in the grips of amber and yellow weather warnings due to SNOW! We thought it would be helpful to provide you with a reminder on how best to deal with staffing issues when there are adverse weather conditions which might prevent staff from getting to work.
The transport and logistics sector relies upon having a flexible workforce, and the ability to require employees to work overtime is key to ensuring that customer demand is met.
Happy New Year and welcome to another edition of Workplace Law.
In this edition, we consider rogue employees when it comes to data breaches, covert cameras and the increase in tribunal fees.
We are certain that you’ve never read a more enticing heading.
Surveillance at work is a tricky issue. Employers need to protect their business and property, including against the risk of unscrupulous employees. The difficulty arises where this practical necessity comes up against data protection law and human rights.
With the deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation fast approaching on 25 May 2018, data protection is on many employers’ minds, but perhaps none more so than Morrisons.
We have a look at the future of the Fit for Work scheme, unlimited roll over of unpaid holiday and how softening the blow of dismissal can make life harder for employers. We wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Dealing with performance issues can be awkward and it can often be easier to put it off and hope that the matter will resolve itself. Many choose to ‘soften the blow’ by giving reasons that do not reflect badly on the employee, like redundancy or reorganisation, what could be wrong with that? That way we can all avoid that awkward conversation that the employee is not meeting the requirements but still achieve the ultimate goal of removing the employee. Yes, that sounds good! Wrong.
A recent European Court of Justice case has found that where workers are not paid for annual leave, their annual leave entitlement will roll over indefinitely. At the end of their employment, they are then entitled to payment in lieu of their accrued entitlement, apparently without limitation.
The government has recently announced that it is scrapping the Fit for Work scheme in England and Wales from 31 March 2018, citing low uptake for the GP-led occupational health programme. When surveyed, two thirds of GPs had not referred anyone to under the scheme in the last year, and of those who had, 40% had no successful returns to work.
In the wake of a number of high profile allegations of sexual harassment we consider how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace in this month’s Workplace Law. We also consider on going case law developments in respect of employment status and the risk assessment you need to perform for women who want to breastfeed at work.
The obligations on employers to carry out risk assessments in relation to new and expectant mothers are well-established. Where working conditions might put new or expectant mothers or their babies at risk, employers must carry out a risk assessment.
Just over a year ago two drivers brought an action against Uber in the Employment Tribunal (ET) arguing that they should be treated as employees. The ET concluded that Uber drivers were not employees but that they were workers as a result of which they were entitled to be paid the minimum wage, receive paid statutory holiday and be paid statutory sick pay.
Every month we answer frequently asked questions from across the practice and bring them together to help bring clarity to your legal needs. Each of the sections below lead off to a more comprehensive bank of information.
The management of mental health in the workplace has been hitting headlines in recent months.
In October, the Thriving at Work report, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May, found that up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, with poor mental health costing the UK economy up to £99billion annually.
The government has announced a new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) to help care providers who have underpaid workers carrying out sleep-in shifts in the past.
The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider the ECJ ruling on discrimination for Greek police, previous incidents at work being considered in a misconduct dismissal and the taxation position of termination payments from April 2018.
The Court of Appeal has found that segregation of pupils by sex at an Islamic faith school in Birmingham was directly discriminatory.
Love them or hate them, tattoos are popular and more and more people have them. From Judi Dench to Harry Styles, an increasing amount of people are choosing to decorate their bodies with ink.
Last year, in Barbulescu v Romania, the European Court of Human Rights decided that employers were able to monitor their workers’ emails where there was a good reason for doing so. Now, in a surprising turn of events, that decision has been reversed on appeal.
E-cigarettes have not been around long but you can find an E-cigarette shop in almost every high street or shopping centre and it is estimated that there are circa 2.8 million E-cigarette users in the UK.
The conciliatory service ACAS recently published a report focused on workplace attitudes towards supporting parents who take extended leave to care for children. The report, Flexible Working for Parents Returning to Work – Maintaining career development, confirms that while there’s been a big push for employers to encourage women to feel comfortable taking maternity leave without losing their status in the workplace, the same can not be said for their male counterparts.
The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider vaping at work, monitoring employees and the tattoo taboo..
With effect from the 11 September 2017 there will be a very significant rise in compensation awards for injury to feelings or psychiatric injury in discrimination cases.
On 26 July 2017, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the employment tribunal fees regime, introduced in 2013, was unlawful. The government had already undertaken that if it lost the case it would refund the fees paid over the last four years.
There is lots of information in our August edition of Workplace Law, we have split it into three sections. These include: Voluntary overtime - we talk about a new ruling which will be welcomed by employers who are paid overtime. Statutory payments - employers need to alter how they have been calculating various statutory payments. Injuries to feelings in the workplace - a recent case (De Souza v Vinci Construction) resolved questions as to whether civil courts can now apply injuries to feelings.
Just before Parliament broke up for its summer break, the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced into the House. The bill proposes that employed parents who have lost a child will, for the first time, get statutory paid leave to grieve.
Whilst this decision cannot compete with the recent employment tribunal fees ruling in terms of consequences for employers, it does go against over 20 years of established practice and will come as a shock to most employers.
A recent case involving an NHS trust has demonstrated that, for a group of employees to transfer to a new contractor under TUPE, it is essential that they are organised for the principle purpose of carrying out the end client’s particular work.
Employees who regularly work voluntary overtime should have these payments included when calculating their holiday pay, following a landmark decision on overtime and holiday pay at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) last week, in the case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts.
In our July edition of Workplace Law we have prepared a summary of the key points raised in the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices. The Good Work Report makes a series of recommendations some of which if implemented into legislation then will have far reaching consequences for employers and the employment relationship. Please therefore take some time to read this month’s edition.
In a ground-breaking decision handed down this morning the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful, prevent people having access to justice and the fee regime will be abolished with immediate effect from today.
Any business that has experience of outsourcing, re-contracting or bidding for contracts will have heard of the TUPE regulations.
Think about the workplace twenty years ago, and you’re likely to conjure a very different image from what we see today. Everything we do is quicker, more dynamic and revolves around flexibility. This includes the way we look at employment.
The recent case of Focus Care Agency Ltd v Mr B Roberts had the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considering whether those working “sleep-in” shifts were entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for just the time they were awake or the whole of their shift, even when they were asleep.
This summer has seen the release of the eagerly anticipated independent review into modern employment practices following a swathe of high profile challenges to employment status in tribunals up and down the country.
A member of our Employment team spoke to HR Magazine about use of polygraph tests in employment disputes and whether they are admissible in courts and tribunals and the implications of if an employee refuses a test.
Earlier this month, John Lewis was forced to make a £36m provision for potential costs of paying the national minimum wage, after discovering that its systems may not comply with regulations.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the multifactorial approach when considering National Minimum Wage for sleep-in workers, the potential discriminatory tests following an employer’s test and the MP’s assessment of the gig economy.
This month MPs came together to address the alleged bogus self-employment practices that have become a major feature of modern working practices.
On 1 May 2017 the Work and Pensions Committee published a report after hearing from gig economy companies like Uber, Hermes and Deliveroo and from the drivers who carry out the work for them.
It is more and more common for employers to use aptitude tests in order to select candidates when recruiting. These tests can be particularly useful and relevant in the sifting and selection process.
Understanding exactly what the position in relation to this question is particularly important if you are an employer in the care sector or education sector with boarding facilities or any other organisations that requires people to be on call or required to work “sleep-in” shifts
Employment team speak to HR Magazine about Uber's new insurance scheme aimed to protect its drivers.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at dismissing employees who have been on long-term sickness, the apprenticeship levy and provide clarity on the indirect discrimination test.
You may be aware that from 6 April 2017 the government brought in the new apprenticeship levy. But what is this and what does it mean?
The case of O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy is a tale of caution to all employers looking to dismiss an employee who has been on long-term sick.
Our Employment team speak to the Times about why pay gap rules may not work.
In our last few editions of Workplace Law we have covered the 3 big cases of Uber, CitySprint and Pimlico Plumbers - cases which have highlighted the courts new robust approach to looking behind a contract in order to determine whether an individual is an employee or a worker.
One of the most recent cases involved drivers engaged by a partnership providing haulage services to construction companies. The partnership argued that these drivers were self employed and therefore responsible for paying their own tax. HMRC took a different stance. The reality of the working relationship was that the partnership dictated the terms of the relationship and there was no real evidence that the drivers were running their own business.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given a verdict which highlights the importance of allowing flexible working hours for employees.
Polygraph tests play a major role in investigations in the US and in recent years have started to be used in the UK, but usually in respect of criminal investigations. We think there is a case to say they have a place in the employment sphere too. Particularly in issues relating to dishonesty, deception or stealing confidential information.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the Pimlico Plumbers case, the increases to tribunal awards, the online tribunal database, whether gross negligence can constitute gross misconduct and ill-health retirement!
Senior associate, Ben Stepney from our employment team speaks with Growth Business to explain how to tackle name bias in recruiting to boost diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the continued trend of cases in relation to employment status, the tax position for termination payments, 18 rated films and the gender pay gap.
When a gift is a gift and not a bribe. Nick Hobden considers the law on giving and receiving gifts in the workplace.
Back in October it was announced that the Employment Tribunal had upheld claims for entitlement to the national living wage and holiday pay from a group of Uber drivers. They found in the drivers’ favour and established that they are not self-employed but are workers. Since then, other cases have been decided against companies like City Sprint and Pimlico Plumbers where judges have grappled with the concept of worker status and blurred the lines of the so-called “gig” economy further.
We wish our readers all a very merry Christmas and best wishes for 2017.
In the November edition of Workplace Law, we would like to introduce you to collaborative employment law a new initiative that has been set up by us with Brachers, Furley Page and Thackrey Williams. We also consider the recent Uber case decision, holiday pay including commission, the tribunal fee report and judicial assessment.
Social media is unquestionably the new marketing frontier for businesses and the way we all like to share an opinion or have a say about what we think, eat, do and feel with our work colleagues, friends, families and people we barely know.
Senior Associate, Ben Stepney from our Employment team gives speaks to The Independent about the inevitable clash between entrepreneurial free-spirit flexibility and the long-recognised need for protection of workers rights.
Nick Hobden, Partner and Head of Employment speaks to City AM about the potential implications of an employment tribunal that will be a deciding factor to whether Uber drivers will be granted entitlement to benefits such as sick pay and holiday.
Nick Hobden speaks to Kent Business about a new process, called Collaborative Employment Law.
It is definitely time to review your data protection policies – read why in our September issue of Workplace Law. We also consider the cost consequences of using zero hour contracts incorrectly and try to understand just how much information about a claim an individual needs to give in ACAS early conciliation. There is an interesting update on reasonable adjustments too…
Q: I have been injured in an accident which was partly my fault. Does that stop me from claiming compensation?
No. Many people are reluctant to start a claim because they feel that an accident was their fault when in strict legal terms the accident was in fact caused wholly, or partly, by someone else.